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Can someone please explain the difference of bass and treble as if to someone with no background knowledge in music? Every time I ask I someone, they always answer as if I'm already an expert on music. They use terms like "the thinness or thickness of a mix", "low end and high end frequencies", "air", "depth", "tinny" and many other terminology I don't understand. And if I hear an audio demonstration I don't know what I'm supposed to listening for and it all sounds the same to me.

  • Do you understand what a "low sound" is and a "high sound"? – Draakhond Aug 6 '18 at 10:40
  • I assume one is low pitched and the other is high pitched. However I see people describing two sounds that sound the same as being both – Alan Aug 6 '18 at 11:11
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Sound is created by vibrations. How fast those vibrations are is called "frequency." There is a range of vibrations that the human ear is sensitive to. The slower, bigger vibrations in this range are called "bass." The faster, smaller vibrations are called "treble." Everything else is called "midrange." Many sounds can be a mixture of both kinds of vibrations, and (to add to the confusion) bass notes can generate a kind of "ghost tone" over top of them in the treble range, called "overtones".

Usually bass sounds are conceptualized spatially as "low," and treble sounds as "high." This can cause confusion with (for example) a guitar, where the (larger, thicker) bass strings are at the top, and the treble strings at the bottom. A good way to think of bass versus treble is that bass is characteristic of the voice of (some) adult males, with treble being more like the typical voice of a little girl.

In an audio system, bass sounds are created by large speakers called woofers and sub-woofers, and can vibrate your entire body if they are loud enough. Treble sounds are created by tiny speakers called tweeters, and can be very ear-piercing. Another difference is that treble sounds are experienced as coming from a specific direction, while bass is largely non-directional (because it washes over your whole body). If you have earphones, and you hold them at a distance from your ear, you will only hear the treble. If you press them into your ear, it will tend to make the bass sound louder.

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If you stand before a piano/keyboard, the left half is called bass, the right hand treble, therefore the corresponding clefs are called bass clef and treble clef.

Singers have more catgories like soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass, abbreviated to the starting letters SATB for choral works and for instruments the specification is even more detailed and often involves their lowest note.

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Bass = power / Treble = definition, clarity, presence, if that helps any ;)

Just for reminder, it takes years of practice to master music production. Don't blame the others if they provide you "too complex" notions. Just educate yourself, be a nerd, read/watch tutorials, find people/courses which can boost your experience, pratice and be patient.

Check attackmagazine.com & adsrsounds.com, they have solid tutorials, wish you the best.

  • I've been trying to educate myself. I looked up what thinness was and it said "the lack of thickness in a mix" and when I looked up thickness it said "the lack of thinness in a mix" and most definitions were just circular and confusing – Alan Aug 5 '18 at 21:04

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